Nick read another book! In other news, Hell froze over.
Title: How to Get Out of Debt: Geting an “A” Credit Rating For Free
Author: Harrine Freeman
Flavor: Pages taste like Cherry Coke.
Short Attention Span Summary. Two books in one! Credit repair for people who can’t tell a credit card from a cookie cutter, and credit protection for everyone else.
What’s in the book? How to Get Out of Debt opens with a thrilling narrative of the author’s own journey into and out of massive credit card debt. The author, a credit repair counselor, uses the rest of the book to help you avoid the same mistakes she made, dig yourself out of bankruptcy, and maintain awesome credit for the rest of your life. Other topics covered include:
- How to spot if your financial life is falling apart.
- Creating a spending plan.
- Women and credit.
- Improving your credit score.
- Dealing with telemarketers and creditors.
- Preventing and recovering from identity theft.
The best part of this book depends on who you are. If you’re spiraling toward financial self-destruction, you’ll need Chapters One and Two to help you identify and correct your problem. For those of us in no danger of monetary mauling, Chapters Six and Seven tell how to boost your credit rating and keep it up there. As Freeman explains, a higher credit rating opens the doors to lower interest home, auto, and consumer loans.
People who need to read the book include anyone teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. It’s not a cure-all for anyone with financial problems, but it presents a basic outline that’ll help even the dumbest of spendthrifts rein in their out-of-control expenses.
People who may want to read the book… Anyone looking to skyrocket their credit score for financial gain. That higher credit score will help you score lower interest mortgages and lucrative zero-percent balance transfer credit cards.
How did this book help me? Not much, but that’s probably a good thing. I’m not in financial trouble, and my credit score is just fine. But I’ll hang on to that chapter on dealing with telemarketers in case any ever call me. Sadly, nobody ever calls me. Not even wrong numbers. Sigh.
Is this book worth buying? There are lots of books out there about dealing with debt and improving your credit. I haven’t read any of them except for this one, so I can’t really compare it to others like it. I do like the way the book is written—lots of simple-to-read lists and bold points to emphasize the important parts. A debt-riddled person with an open mind could probably turn his or her life around if they followed the book’s lessons religiously.
The parts geared more toward people like myself—those seeking to improve their credit for financial gain—present a good overview of the way credit works. I do have to take issue with some of the book’s advice on credit cards. Freeman specifically warns to use credit cards “for emergency purposes only.” I guess this is good advice for credit card junkies recovering from high balances. But for those of us who know how to use credit cards responsibly, these little pieces of plastic can provide interest-free loans, gobs and gobs of reward points, protection from theft, and many other benefits you don’t get from using cash.
Oh, one more point worth mentioning: if you pick up this book for its 230+ pages of debt-fixing goodness, you might be a little disappointed because the actual book ends on page 140. The remaining 90 pages are just appendices featuring mailing addresses for every consumer protection agency ever, a rudimentary budgeting table, and a few other resources you’ll probably just search the internet for anyway.
Buy How to Get Out of Debt on Amazon.com ($13.57 as of September 19, 2007)